Chicken Empanadas

Makes 12 empanadas

Ingredients (for the Chicken)

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 1½ pounds Smart Chicken tenders, thinly sliced

  • ½ yellow onion, diced small

  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 1 jalapeño, sliced

  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

  • 10 ounces quesadilla cheese or Monterey, diced

  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, as needed

Ingredients (for the Dough)

  • 3 cups flour

  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 1 cup whole milk


Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken tenders and season with salt and pepper. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño and sauté until soft. Add the tomatoes and stew until thick, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and let chill. Once cooled, mix in the cheese.

Meanwhile, make the empanada dough. In a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and butter and pulse until smooth. Add the milk and pulse until combined.

On a floured work surface, roll the dough out to about ?-inch thick. With a large ring cutter, cut out as many rings as possible. Refold and reroll until almost all the dough is used. Brush the outside edges of the dough with water or egg wash. Spoon the chicken mixture evenly into each of the empanadas. Fold each into a half-moon shape and crimp the edges with a fork. Brush the tops with egg wash or melted butter. Bake at 425°F for 10 to 12 minutes in a convection oven. Serve warm.

Recipe created by Benjamin Maides, Chef, Au Courant Regional Kitchen, Omaha, Nebraska